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What is the Metaverse? Let’s Delve into the Future of Manufacturing and Technology

As Industry 4.0 continues, we see technology combining with Manufacturing more and more by the second, revolutionising the way the world works. As change is inevitable, technology advances are the future and companies that aren’t innovating risk falling behind. We take a look into what the Metaverse is and how this could affect the future of Manufacturing for the better.

The Metaverse, explained.

In simpler terms, a metaverse is the network of 3D virtual worlds, focusing on social connections. It’s essentially a virtual world, presented through the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets. Not to be confused with the company Meta (previously Facebook) as they have their own ‘metaverse’ development plans which are yet to be completed. The term has actually been around since 1992, as a combination of ‘meta’ and ‘universe.’

What are the potentials of the Metaverse in Manufacturing?

The possibilities with technology are endless, as it continues to surprise us all everyday. People are discovering new ways to be connected, conduct business, consume goods and more through tech developments. The metaverse is bringing everything and everyone together in one virtual place, and large companies such as Facebook are already invested into the technology, becoming industry leaders for the rest of the world to follow. So far, the metaverse potential has been focused on egaming, social networking, and e-commerce, but it’s only a matter of time before industrial sectors jump on board to see its potential.

As the Manufacturing and Industrial sectors in general are under pressure to become more efficient and sustainable, companies worldwide are searching for new ways of working. In line with this, businesses need to innovate to retain and attract new customers as well as following new regulations. The metaverse poses a great potential for industries such as construction, manufacturing and agriculture: providing the capabilities of better planning, research and tackling challenges ahead of time. So how can this be achieved? 

Through the use of the metaverse, industry businesses can create digital replicas of their facilities, which provides the following possibilities:

  • See how new equipment can boost their productivity before investing
  • Educational opportunities to inspire the up and coming, showcasing what their businesses do on a day-to-day
  • Virtual tours/site visits, which can be beneficial from a business meeting and brand awareness point of view
  • Industries such as construction can visualise drawings to see how they can impact current infrastructure whilst analysing opportunities

All of these possibilities can directly impact the manufacturing sector’s longevity, as businesses would all become more efficient and sustainable in their processes, which is a long-term goal for most governments across the globe. With the Metaverse, this encourages better transparency of supply chains, providing suppliers and customers with more granular detail of order expectations from costs to despatch times. 

Early Adopters of the Metaverse

“BMW has been one of the earliest adopters of metaverse technology in terms of manufacturing and logistics. The company has partnered with Nvidia to use their Omniverse to simulate it’s manufacturing operations, essentially pushing the envelope on smart manufacturing. Using metaverse technology, BMW is working on creating better workflows for its employees and fostering more efficient manufacturing processes.” - aem.org

So what’s next?

It’s a case of ‘Innovate or Die’ across all sectors, as time waits for no one. Change is inevitable, but generally for the better. There will be hurdles along the way and the metaverse is still very much in development stages, however it’s hard to ignore its potential for the industrial sectors, with large businesses already buying into it. Technology is constantly evolving and it’s always worth keeping an eye out for updates, whether you’re a large enterprise or SME. Maybe you could be part of the early adopters, but you don’t want to be part of the laggers and risk falling behind the competition. 

Source: aem.org

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